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review 2017-04-16 01:02
ARC Review: Relationship Status by K.A. Mitchell
Relationship Status - K.A. Mitchell

This obviously had the potential to be super-angsty, especially when we were in Wyatt's head, but it wasn't. It was mostly delightful to revisit Ethan and Wyatt and watch them find their way to a happily ever after. Also, the epilogue was like icing on the happy cake.

This is the third book in this trilogy, and it shouldn't be read as a standalone. It's actually best, now that book 3 is published, to read them all back to back.

I do love Ethan and Wyatt, even though they can be complicated, immature and annoying, and as a couple, they have the potential to crash and burn, but both of them are committed to their relationship. They struggle, of course, especially since Ethan doesn't always understand what drives Wyatt, and how his history continues to influence the decisions he makes, and how he sees himself. Wyatt comes across as resentful on occasion that Ethan's life to date has been fairly easy, and seemingly forgets that Ethan has been hurt too.

Some of the issues felt forced to me, though I liked that Wyatt didn't freeze out Ethan this time around as he had in the past, when Ethan does something immature. Part of me was also hoping that Ethan would have grown up a bit more in this book, but that wasn't always the case. I never doubted that he thought Wyatt hung the moon, but Ethan does on occasion come across as rather immature. I realize they're both still very young, so maybe I should cut them some slack.

In this book, they're also not living in dorms anymore - they're renting a room in a crappy apartment for the summer while doing internships - so this newfound freedom and privacy translates into lots and lots of sexy times, though, while definitely hot, there were so many that I started skimming them toward the end.

It also occurred to me during my reading of this book that this trilogy might have worked better overall if the three books had been released as one large volume, because neither book 1 nor book 2 really told the whole story. There is growth for both Wyatt and Ethan in this final book, which I appreciated, and they're better at being adults than in the first two, but Ethan still tends to fall back on his parents, whereas Wyatt doesn't really have that option. His uncle is still in the picture, and there's some additional plot around that, which I thought was rather well done, even if it felt like a bit much - it did highlight that Wyatt and Ethan do work as a couple, and that Ethan has a really good heart, and that Wyatt has finally started believing that they have a future.

Overall, this book was a fitting ending to this trilogy, and I enjoyed reading it.

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-02-23 01:04
ARC Review: Class Distinctions by Rick R. Reed
Class Distinctions - Rick R. Reed

I read the 2nd edition of this book, out 2/25/17. 

 

 

 

A quick glimpse into the relationship and almost break-up of two college kids who are young, dumb, and in love.

Kyle and Jonathan, both freshmen at university, are madly in love. Except Kyle is ashamed of his humble background and believes that Jonathan and his rich parents will look down on Kyle's poor mother when they'll meet at the upcoming Parents' Weekend.

So, clearly, it's easier to just break Jonathan's heart, and his own. Right? Wrong!

In actuality, this book is simply too short. We don't get a full picture of their relationship, so it's difficult (not impossible) for the reader to put herself into the shoes of these young and dumb kids.

I would applaud Jonathan for not giving up on Kyle (after the initial shock wears off), and going after what he wants, demanding an explanation for that which is to him inexplicable. He does listen and learns something new about his boyfriend.

Kyle too learns that maybe he should have not assumed and instead be a grown-up and talk about his fears. Pulling the crap he pulled didn't win him any favors with me, even if I could to some extent understand his fears. Shame wasn't a good look on him, and while I felt sorry for him during his pain, he did bring this on himself.

The author does a really good job exploring the relationship each boy has with his mother, and that's where this book really worked. I also liked that we got a dual POV, as both Jonathan and Kyle deal with their equally broken hearts. There was a lot of emotion that really came across well in those lines.

I also liked that they both felt drawn to the special place where they shared their first kiss, and thus got a chance to find their way back to each other.

Still... not my favorite by this author. I think this story might have worked a little better if we had been given a bit of a lead-up to their almost break-up, and thus seen why they were so devastated, instead of simply being told they were.


** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost promotions as part of the re-release of this story. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-01-21 00:31
ARC Review: Flag On The Play by Sherrie Henry
Flag on the Play - Sherrie Henry
While the author accurately captured the voices of the teenagers in this book, with their struggles and figuring out who they are, I thought that the amount of issues piled within were a bit much.

Liam, our protagonist, is a junior in a small town high school, the punter on the school's football team, and gay. He knows he's gay, and he's okay with that, but there's no way he can let on about that, because his parents drag him to church on Sundays, and all he's ever heard from the pulpit of the local Baptist church is that homosexuality is sin.

I felt sorry for him after just a few pages, empathizing with him about the impossibly situation he's in.

Enter Cody, new student, in town temporarily due to his father's job, who becomes the new star player on the football team. Also, he's gay too.

I liked the story well so far, and looked forward to how Liam and Cody would navigate the rough waters ahead.

I thought that the depiction of the relationship, first love, the inability to keep their hands off each other even in risky places, the jealousy Liam feels at Cody's pretend-GF (who doesn't know she's a beard) were all well done, but I didn't think that the self-harm issue was handled with sufficient depth.

While Liam's parents, especially his mother, were supportive at the eventual reveal that their son is gay, I also felt that the climax and subsequent ending weren't handled with enough depth either. I would have liked to see some closure to what happened, and I would have liked to see an epilogue of sorts that showed how Liam and Cody fare after the main part of the story ended.

I did like the inclusion of the Wiccan beliefs and how it was juxtaposed to the Christian conservative beliefs to which Liam's parents subscribed. The jarring differences between Cody's parents and Liam's parents were also well done, if somewhat one-dimensional.

I would recommend that this book carry trigger warnings, especially since it's geared toward young adults, considering the self-harm issue it discusses within. Yes, the cutting is mentioned in the blurb, but I felt that the dangers of cutting were not sufficiently explained, nor did I believe that Liam, once repeatedly flooded with those endorphins, would so easily be able to stop cutting.

While the issues raised within were realistic, they weren't fully resolved to my satisfaction. YMMV. Overall, a good effort. This was my first book by this author.

 
 I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. 

 

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text 2017-01-06 02:55
ARC Review: More Things In Heaven And Earth by Paul Comeau
More Things in Heaven and Earth - Paul Comeau

No rating. This book didn't work for me on a variety of levels.

 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-01-02 02:08
ARC Review: Lane's (Life According To Maps #3) by Nash Summers
Lane's - Nash Summers

Utterly adorkable 3rd installment to Life According To Maps. In which Maps and Lane and Benji and Perry try to figure out the pitfalls of making plans for after high school, teenage angst, and first love.

Maps' usual quirks are front and center as always, assuming that while he should probably find a college to attend, his parents don't really want him to leave, which obviously explains his reluctance in applying for college, obviously, and has nothing to do with his fears of not getting into the same school as Lane, no sirree, not at all.

As Maps and Lane navigate their last few months of senior year, plan for and attend prom, Maps also learns a lot. Okay, some. He definitely learns that Lane loves him, and that he loves Lane. He learns that Perry might have the hots for Benji, possibly, and that those feelings might be returned to some extent, despite Benji's protests and denials.

The way Maps looks at the world is still the same in this book, which is to say completely different from anyone else. He convinces himself that it's not his fears of leaving Benji, and losing Lane, that are keeping him from applying to college and looking forward to finishing high school. He also has a list of things he thinks one should accomplish before finishing high school, such as crashing a party. He makes Lane jealous, unintentionally, during a situation that is so utterly Maps I giggled out loud. I actually giggled quite a few times throughout this book.

This book should not be read as a standalone, since at this point in the series, you have to know Maps to understand him. Besides, why wouldn't you want to read the entire series from start to finish anyway?

Maps is like nobody else you've ever known. That is part of his charm, and while he's not the only character that makes this series worthwhile reading, he's a huge part of the reason.

This is firmly YA fare, as there is no steam other than some toe-curling kisses, but that's not a detriment at all. These boys fumble, they stumble and nearly fall, but their bond is strong and will surely lead them along the right path.

I hope we'll get at least a glimpse of them during their college years. How about it, Nash Summers?


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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